Their rivalry with Nanamine may have been quickly quashed by crushing their opponent, but that just means that our focus has returned to an even bigger rivalry now, that being Eiji Nizuma.
As if Nizuma wasn't already prolific and successful enough, his recent burst of new-found motivation proves him to be an even more terrifying prospect as he races to the top of Shounen Jack's charts and stays there with a seemingly unassailable leads for three, then four, then five weeks. Even though PCP is still doing well and Road Racer Giri enjoys an all-time high thanks to its anime adaptation, it's hard to shake the fact that everyone else is just trailing in Nizuma's wake.
More worrying is the spreading knowledge that, at the start of his career, Eiji requested the power to cancel a single manga series that he doesn't like once he becomes a successful manga artist. With this time almost inarguably upon us, is he really going to make good on his request? While some parties ascribe Nizuma's recent burst of enthusiasm as being a call to motivate Ashirogi Muto, the truth is that Eiji really does want to cancel a single series that he doesn't like. But which one will it be - one of his rival's works? Natural, which he illustrates? How about his own series, Crow?
Come the end of this episode, we're all set up for what is rather a blast from the past for Bakuman - an all-out rivalry and scramble for the top of the tree featuring a bunch of now old faces within the industry. It isn't exactly a new idea, but it is a rather exciting one if well executed given the stakes on the table, which one again promises to ensure that this third season of Bakuman keeps its entertainment value at an all-time high, which is all I can ask of it as we roll on towards its conclusion.